Hi, everyone! My name is Emily Antoney Jeromeous and I am the Co-Director of Writing at Magnify Wellness. I appreciate the time that you take out of your day to read this piece, as I am so excited to share my perspectives and dreams with you.
TW: mentions of drug abuse, assault, and suicide.
It was a cold day in mid-November of 2019 when I was loitering outside of the local community centre after school, watching the grey clouds overshadow the bleak-looking sun. As usual, I was feeling buzzed from my new craving – drugs. You would think that I’d want to refrain from playing into the “rebellious high scholar” stereotype, but I seemed to think that drugs were my only source of comfort. How ironic, considering the fact that I was the same individual who would tell my friends not to pursue a similar fate; as if I was doomed at the young age of sixteen. On this particular day, I wasn’t feeling any different than I usually felt. The same apathetic detachment dictated my day-to-day routine.
And yet, not more than two hours later, I was walking home looking up at the darkening sky while my tears froze over my red cheeks. I continued onwards, knowing that my resilience was only consistent due to my innate fear of suicide and all things death-related.
November 13th is a day that I can’t ever forget. However, without November 13th, I never would have had the awakening that I did in the following months. My internal struggle with feelings of anxiousness and undiagnosed mental health disorders made it difficult for me to function and go about the distresses that plagued a teenager’s life. I continued to drown in feelings of victim-blaming, not realizing that I was outwardly advocating for the same values which I hypocritically criticized myself for. From that day, I embraced nihilistic existentialism through my spirit. I lived audaciously and said “carpe diem” to anyone who told me that I was sabotaging my own potential.
My mindset altered upon the realization that though I can take steps to improve myself, reformation wouldn’t occur unless I was able to believe that I was capable of changing. How did I manage to reach this all-time low? Though taken aback by my own discovery, I took this as a sign to prioritize development and growth.
I learn more about the differences between my own mental health and that of others with each new day. Each new day grants me the opportunity to analyze and perceive the world from a different lens which in turn allows me to be more compassionate, more indulgent, and more empathetic. Although we may not all be psychiatrists, we can remember that every person is an observer and predictor of human behaviour. We are conscious and when we choose to be self-aware, we take accountability for our actions. Concurrently, we inform ourselves regarding the standpoints of others.
I formerly believed that my life was nothing but a shabby portrayal of an anxious, ungrateful teenager. That ideology was flipped as I figured that my life was a beautiful painting, even with all the “happy accidents” that I had to handle. Bob Ross would be proud.
We are flawed. I know that it is important to try and embrace my flaws; and it’s still something that I am working on accomplishing to this day.
“The Office” is a show that taught me the significance of how everyday life can be so amazing. The smallest incidents, those moments that we take so lightly – they are now what I marvel at when the end of each 24 hours approaches.
My introspection has blossomed as a result of my past. I have to accept the things I cannot change, and change the things I cannot accept – a quote I’ve heard one too many times, but one that I’ve recently been able to bond with. Society is so distinct to the point where we can only hope to understand the lives of others.
Our narratives are different, and they will be regardless of how much we try to reshape our building blocks to fit within an unfamiliar mold. Our lenses are subjective but that’s what makes us so beautiful. The diversity in the grand scheme of the universe is what makes me value the identity that I have, even if it comes with so many setbacks that are outside of my control. My story will not be your story, nor do I expect it to be. Through my writing, I wish to invoke a sense of connection with you. Maybe I won’t have all the little pieces that make up your puzzle, and maybe you don’t either, but we can find them along the way. Life is a journey that we will traverse together.
Reach me to talk more at email@example.com
Listen to the audio version here!